Lawn care may seem like a strange thing to discuss in relation to self sufficiency, but it’s more related than you might imagine.
To maintain a traditional lawn requires a lot of fertilizer, water, herbicides (for weed control), work, and equipment (lawn mowers, edgers, aerators, etc., plus the related costs of fuel and maintenance). These costs all add up, and so do their impact on the ecosystem. This article about water quality in streams improving after a fertilizer ban is a perfect example. Another good read is American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn, which details the history of lawns, and the development of the lawn care industry.
We decided to start looking at alternatives to the traditional lawn. This came from desires for a lawn that is lower maintenance, less expensive, and natural and organic for our chickens to forage on (while still looking nice).